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View Full Version : Do you know any RPGs that have this combat mechanic?



Tengu_temp
2013-05-08, 10:55 PM
I'm looking for games that have the same "counter" mechanic as Fire Emblem or Super Robot Wars: if X attacks Y, Y also attacks X back (or can choose to focus on defense instead or something). And if 10 guys attack Y, Y attacks each one of them back. I feel like it's a great system for more cinematic games, where a hero is supposed to plow through mooks and a single bad guy is supposed to be a challenge for a whole party, so I'd like to see if any game is using this.

I'm not looking for houserules, I'm not looking for systems where a small number of characters work like that (like some ToB maneuvers). I'm looking for games where this is the integral part of the system.

Ashtagon
2013-05-08, 11:30 PM
Fighting Fantasy has that mechanic, with one exception. If you win against multiple opponents in a many-on-one situation, you only get to strike at as many opponents as your Attacks score (normally 1 for most PC races).

Agrippa
2013-05-09, 12:35 AM
Honestly I don't know any RPGs that have this as a rule. With that said, the idea of automatic counter attacks sounds pretty agreeable to me. Consider it taken.

Knaight
2013-05-09, 12:40 AM
I'm not looking for houserules, I'm not looking for systems where a small number of characters work like that (like some ToB maneuvers). I'm looking for games where this is the integral part of the system.

I think Qin: The Warring States has this as an option somewhere.

RandomLunatic
2013-05-09, 12:51 AM
Melee combat in MechWarrior third edition works like this. Both parties make opposed rolls, with the winner scoring a hit on the loser-even if the loser was the one who spent the action to make the attack. Picking a fistfight with a superior opponent is a quick ticket to Bruiseville, since he hits you once on his turn and once on yours.

Rifts gives characters a number of reactions per round, which can be used in response to an incoming attack to dodge, parry, or forgo defense and attack right back.

Mark Hall
2013-05-09, 01:02 AM
Shadowrun, IIRC, is like that in melee combat.

Edge of Dreams
2013-05-09, 02:40 AM
Runequest does something a little bit like that - each character in a battle has X actions per round. Attacking costs 1 action, but so does defending against an attack. Attack and Defense are both rolled, and if there's a big enough difference between the winner and the loser of that roll-off, the winner gets a "special effect" in addition to causing/preventing damage. On offense, special effects include stun, impale, disarm, trip, and "press advantage" (that foe can't attack on his next turn), among others. Defensive special effects include disarm, trip, "overextend" (foe can't attack on his next turn), disengage, change target (your foe hits someone else nearby instead of you), and in certain cases, immediate counter-attack out of turn (which still costs an action point).

The real effect of all this is that attacking someone much more skilled than you is almost as dangerous as being attacked by them, because they could earn up to 3 special effects at once (if they crit and you fumble), causing all sorts of havoc.

Rhynn
2013-05-09, 04:34 AM
I can't think of anything that works quite this way, no. D&D editions, Artesia: AKW, CP2020, Rolemaster, RuneQuest (and other Chaosium/BRP games), Lord of the Rings, Sengoku, The Riddle of Steel...

In most RPGs, you either attack against a solid target number (D&D style), or roll a defense, often using a specific action (A:AKW, RQ, CP2020).

One game does come close, but only in a special case. In HârnMaster, you get to defend against every attacker striking at you in a round (they just get outnumbering bonuses on their skills), and the defenses available are Block, Dodge, Counterstrike, and Grapple (and Ignore). Counterstrike and Grapple mean you make a regular or wrestling attack against the attacker, respectively. All attacks are resolved on a matrix based on the defense used, and Counterstrike can result in one side or both striking the other.

It's a basic tactic in HârnMaster for a character in heavy armor to use nothing but Counterstrike, relying on, say, mail + quilt and a plate helm over coif over quilt, to absorb all hits. A skilled knight could conceivably strike down 6 ill-armored attackers (hex-based combat maps) in one round with Counterstrikes.

It's not quite the same, but it's a cool system that does a nice job of approximating how a bunch of yobs with clubs and cloth going against a knight with sword and mail are going to get murderized, and how they should be using missiles and polearms... but, of course, enough unarmored yobs will get the knight so fatigued and worn down with minor bruises that he'll eventually be unable to fight even if he doesn't get a serious wound. (If doing that on purpose, it actually makes more sense to attack one at a time so the knight only has a chance to Counterstrike one opponent per round - the knight fatigues just as fast regardless of the number of Counterstrikes made.)


Anyway, I think it's definitely a cool kind of approach for getting a specific kind of feel - and it seems dead simple, too. Just make every attack/engagement action an opposed roll, where the winner deals damage to the loser.


Runequest

NB, this stuff above only applies to RuneQuest 6 (and maybe MRQ2, I honestly have the last 3 editions sort of jumbled up in my head by now). RQ1-3 had similar but different (simpler) systems. I love the RQ6 system, which I think has clear influences from The Riddle of Steel.

Totally Guy
2013-05-09, 04:43 AM
In Dungeon World when you attack an enemy in melee you roll dice. On strong hit you can do your damage to your opponent in safety. On a weak hit you do your damage to your opponent and they counter. On a miss the GM chooses something bad to happen, this includes enemies straight up attacking you.

All the main rolls are done by the players when they repond to stuff. the goblin doesn't roll to hit you, you roll to get out out of the way. As such property of "you make X attacks against the X mooks running at you" applies.

But it's not a combat simulator, there's no initiative, you go around the table and describe where you are and what you're doing in response to the descriptions of others and roll some dice.

Saph
2013-05-09, 05:03 AM
Tunnels and Trolls doesn't have that exact system, but has one that has some similarities. If you choose to attack in a combat round and an enemy also chooses to attack in a combat round, you both roll dice and add up your combat scores. Whoever gets the lower score takes damage equal to the difference between them.

This means that if you attack someone of higher skill than you it's quite likely that your "attack" just ends up with you wounded or dead.

However, where it's different from Fire Emblem is that if multiple people all gang up on one target then they add their combat scores together, making ganging up in melee much more effective than most tabletop RPGs.

NichG
2013-05-09, 05:07 AM
For me this mechanic suggests a game where each player controls multiple units, just because if counter-attack and attack have the same weight then the only advantage of being on offense is that you can decide how to distribute your attacks in a round, and can then pull injured units back for healing/recovery and such.

E.g. with two teams of 10 guys of equal strength and no healing, the winning team is simply the one that strikes the most finishing blows (which traditionally don't allow a counter attack). That means focus fire and rotating out injured units to deny the enemy finishing blows.

This would be lessened in a system with asymmetric counters (e.g. the counter-attack may be something like half power compared to the normal attack) and options for denying counters (e.g. you must have equal or superior reach to get a counter).

Kilbourne
2013-05-09, 05:21 AM
The 1st edition of Sovereign Stone, before they changed to d20, had a mechanic like that. You could counter the attack directly, or let your Agility reduce it, and then try to attack in return instead.

Badgerish
2013-05-09, 05:37 AM
In some versions of FATE: when A attacks B, but B gets a significantly better opposed roll, B gets 'spin' over A, which gives them an advantage in the next exchange (round).

BWR
2013-05-09, 06:56 AM
d20 allows this in a limited fashion, so long as you choose the correct feats, but it is not a universal mechanic.
L5R also has (at least in 3E/R) limited mechanics for this.

neonchameleon
2013-05-09, 07:33 AM
Tenra Bansho Zero (http://www.tenra-rpg.com/) and Marvel Heroic Roleplaying (http://www.amazon.com/Marvel-Heroic-Roleplay-Basic-Game/dp/1936685167) both have the exact mechanic you want.

Doug Lampert
2013-05-09, 10:16 AM
Tenra Bansho Zero (http://www.tenra-rpg.com/) and Marvel Heroic Roleplaying (http://www.amazon.com/Marvel-Heroic-Roleplay-Basic-Game/dp/1936685167) both have the exact mechanic you want.

For that matter the homebrew I'm using right now for a low powered superhero game uses that mechanic.

I suspect superhero games and martial arts games are unusually likely to use this mechanic as it makes it MUCH easier to design a hero who can take on large numbers of mooks and win, and it makes the "villains attack one at a time" into a perfectly reasonable tactic rather than insane stupidity.

It really fits those genres.

You do need to nerf ranged combat for this to really work (most of my players have given up on ranged attacks as they realize that they're a good way to have disadvantage on melee rolls for the round in exchange for getting to miss one extra time).

But again, nerfing most ranged attacks is in genre.

CarpeGuitarrem
2013-05-09, 10:53 AM
Tenra Bansho Zero (http://www.tenra-rpg.com/) and Marvel Heroic Roleplaying (http://www.amazon.com/Marvel-Heroic-Roleplay-Basic-Game/dp/1936685167) both have the exact mechanic you want.
YOU BEAT ME TO TENRA! DANG YOUUUUUUUUU

That really is the simplest form of this. You attack, but if they beat your attack, those successes go straight to damage you. But only melee works like this, so...

DMMike
2013-05-11, 04:55 PM
http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaign/p-p-rpg/wikis/actions

Reserve actions in this system are fine for riposte. But if you want to block and then counter-attack, the counter-attack would have to take place in your next round, like in most systems.

Slipperychicken
2013-05-11, 05:59 PM
It's not quite the same, but it's a cool system that does a nice job of approximating how a bunch of yobs with clubs and cloth going against a knight with sword and mail are going to get murderized, and how they should be using missiles and polearms... but, of course, enough unarmored yobs will get the knight so fatigued and worn down with minor bruises that he'll eventually be unable to fight even if he doesn't get a serious wound. (If doing that on purpose, it actually makes more sense to attack one at a time so the knight only has a chance to Counterstrike one opponent per round - the knight fatigues just as fast regardless of the number of Counterstrikes made.)


With good enough numbers (4-6?), "normal" people could pretty much surround the guy, tackle him to the ground (good luck wrestling 6 guys under all that armor), and keep his arms or weapons held to prevent him from effectively attacking while they restrain him. You could pretty much assign one guy to a body part, and there's no way the knight's getting out of that.

Of course, that isn't the fantasy we all want played out. We want to see a fair fight with the "yobs" and Our Hero simply trading blows like it was a duel. Perhaps that's why fantasy RPGs tend to have such awful grappling rules.

Rhynn
2013-05-12, 03:20 AM
With good enough numbers (4-6?), "normal" people could pretty much surround the guy, tackle him to the ground (good luck wrestling 6 guys under all that armor), and keep his arms or weapons held to prevent him from effectively attacking while they restrain him. You could pretty much assign one guy to a body part, and there's no way the knight's getting out of that.

HârnMaster does, in fact, have (good & simple) grappling rules. (And I got outnumbering wrong, it's a penalty to defenses, not a bonus to attacks, which makes being outnumbered significantly worse.) That's a completely legit tactic. Of course, a few of them are going to get cut, bad.

I don't quite know why you think wrestling in armor would be harder than wrestling out of armor. Wrestling (in full harness) is an essential part of harnischfechten...


Of course, that isn't the fantasy we all want played out. We want to see a fair fight with the "yobs" and Our Hero simply trading blows like it was a duel. Perhaps that's why fantasy RPGs tend to have such awful grappling rules.

That's just not the kind of game HârnMaster is.

Slipperychicken
2013-05-12, 08:38 AM
harnischfechten...


Translation?

Chambers
2013-05-12, 08:49 AM
Translation?

Harnischfechten, or "armoured fighting"... (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Longsword#Harnischfechten)

Rhynn
2013-05-12, 08:53 AM
Translation?

"Armored fighting", but it means this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Longsword#Harnischfechten) and this (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harnischfechten). Basically, grappling was an essential part of fighting in full harness, and I'm not at all convinced that someone who's been trained in combat is going to do much worse at grappling with untrained yobs while wearing armor (mail or harness). 4-on-1 (or worse) is the deciding factor there. Although personally, I wouldn't fancy my odds at rushing a knight with a sword, because 1-in-4 odds (or worse) of being (one of) the one(s) he lays open with it aren't very appealing... I'd rather go with the goedendags (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goedendag).

Friv
2013-05-12, 10:16 AM
It can be done fairly easily in either edition of Exalted, both of which have counter-attack mechanics, but said mechanics are considered to be "powers" rather than a default part of the game.

Third Edition is due out soon, and will supposedly have a massively revised combat engine based largely around gaining and losing momentum, so that may have ingrained combat mechanics.

Jay R
2013-05-13, 01:34 PM
In the FGU musketeers era RPG Flashing Blades, one of the combat maneuvers is Counter. In a given turn, a character can take any two of Movement, Attack, Defense, Counter, or Miscellaneous.


(4) COUNTER
A counter is a counterattack akin to the riposte in fencing. If a counter is chosen as an action, and an enemy makes an attack on the character that misses for any reason, the character may make an immediate counter-attack. This counterattack may be any single action attack, but not a long action attack (e.g. a slash or a thrust, but not a lunge). Counterattacks also get a +1 to hit. Counterattacks may be parried or defended against normally. Taking a counter action and an attack action is the only means by which a character may get two blows in at his opponent in one turn.
This may or may not be what you want, since the rules are unclear about whether this gives you attacks on more than one opponent in one round.